University of Phoenix and U.S. Black Chambers to Pilot Step Up Entrepreneurs Program

University of Phoenix August 21, 2015

University of Phoenix® School of Business and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) have announced a new educational training program for USBC members and African-American small-business owners. The USBC Step Up Entrepreneurs Program, powered by University of Phoenix, includes a three-course, 15-week, credit-bearing component that includes online classroom instruction taught by University of Phoenix School of Business faculty, and takes students through courses that include personal cash flow, market analyses and financial performance.

Students will create their business plans following completion of the courses to develop a business model, strategy, financial forecasts, competition benchmarks and implementation and performance tracking. Starting in January 2016, the program will begin in five major cities throughout USBC’s regions across the country and is backed by a $500,000 grant from University of Phoenix.

“University of Phoenix is pleased to partner with USBC to provide African-American small0-business owners and entrepreneurs with an exclusive opportunity, integrating teachings from business courses with insights from local market experts who understand the economy in their communities,” said Byron Jones, chief financial officer of University of Phoenix. “The U.S. Black Chambers Entrepreneur program allows participants to experience some of the most challenging exercises business owners undergo with the training, support and counsel they need from seasoned professionals with demonstrated success in owning and managing a business.”

At the start of each course, participants are encouraged to attend an in-person micro workshop with a local USBC expert on topics such as accounting and finance, marketing, operations and customer service. A key component of this opportunity includes the creation of a feasibility plan that can be submitted for either a traditional bank or micro plan partner. Students who complete the courses will earn nine hours of college credit, which can be applied toward a certificate or degree program at University of Phoenix.

“Gaining access to capital continues to be a major hurdle for African-American small-business owners, and properly navigating that process is often the difference between success and failure,” said Ron Busby Sr., president of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. “We are excited to collaborate with University of Phoenix on the U.S. Black Chambers Step Up Entrepreneurs program to help provide needed resources to support Black entrepreneurs, and believe it is an excellent example of local leaders and educators working together to improve the lives of our citizens and communities.”

“University of Phoenix is committed to discovering and developing the next generation of African-American business leaders, and with nearly ten percent of University of Phoenix alumni survey respondents reporting they currently own a business, the collaboration with USBC small business owners is a natural fit,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean of University of Phoenix School of Business. “Knowledge and training drive success. That’s why the select courses in the USBC Entrepreneur program will provide participants relevant skills that can positively and quickly impact their businesses.”

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